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“Bad experience - not for kids.”

New Mexico Jeep Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tours out of ALBUQUERQUE and SANTA FE. With over 300 days of sunshine, we're OPEN YEAR ROUND! The Land of Enchantment abounds in opportunities to explore the mysteries of its ancient past and wonders of its landscapes. Ancestral ruins, historic homesteads, petroglyphs, petrified forests and geologic marvels lie hidden in its hills and valleys. Wild horses run free on its mesas. You are invited to join us and experience why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. Offering tours from 3 hours to all day, New Mexico Jeep Tours will take you off the beaten path to places rich in history and beauty that few have the opportunity to see. All tours include water and snacks and are private and personal so we can cater to the interests and abilities of your group.
Decatur, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
“Bad experience - not for kids.”
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Although in all honesty we really did not have a good time on this trip and an even worse one afterwards, I still gave this experience "ok" marks and I'll explain. We took our 8 and 9 year old boys with us on a Saturday morning 3 hour trip. We emailed the owner asking for his recommendations for what kind of trip would be appropriate for younger boys but we wanted them to experience New Mexico. He recommended the three hour tour just in case they got bored so we booked it. We met our guide in a grocery store parking lot and were on our way. About a 10 minute drive later we crossed over into a private area and the tour began. The tour started fairly loose beginning with our driver saying we need to sign a waiver document to get started, then realized he had no pen and said forget about it. It kept that informal feel through the entire trip, which is probably what set this up for disaster. We sat with my wife in the front seat and me between the two boys in the back.

The tour is basically wherever the guide thinks he needs to go on this ranch. To a non native New Mexico visitor basically what this ranch is 20,000 acres of wide open country side. The driver takes you around to locations and you stop at various places to look at things. You'll see wild horses and various other animals. The main point of the tour besides getting some pretty sweeping views of the area is to stop and see ruins of ancient residents who left behind drawings on the rocks and old remnants of homes and things like broken pottery.

I have two complaints about this experience, one which applies to everyone, and the other just for folks with kids. We paid $310 for this three hour experience and we just didn't feel at the time it was worth that kind of money. Riding in a jeep and stopping and looking at broken pottery or a place where someone marked on a rock stopped being truly interesting after the first hour or so. We really liked being outside in the open country though which was nice, but for the price and knowing what I know now I would have skipped the experience. For those truly interested in this type of stuff feel free to disagree, but we've seen a lot in our travels and this doesn't make the top 500 list of cool things we've seen. For someone with truly more interest in this type of stuff I can see how it would be a great experience.

Admittedly our experience was tainted afterwards when we got a nasty note from the owner. During the trip one of our boys had taken a rock from one of the sites and obviously they are very protective of them. He had left it in the jeep and they put it back. He also accused us of damage to the sites and to the jeep and basically painted a picture of us being horrible parents. A word about what happened, as a good portion of what he said was true (except the bad parent part) - this is wide open countryside and basically you stop and allow the kids to run around as they get bored fairly quickly. The hard part with this tour is the guide points out a small area with something interesting in it like broken pottery but around that you're basically looking at your standard countryside so what do boys do? Climb on stuff and play. Obviously the guide saw that and seemed ok with it. After seeing pictographs he allowed our kids to pick up pieces of rock off the ground and write on them like the early settlers did. He allowed the kids to stand up in the jeep with their heads out the top while driving etc. Basically we figured this was all normal cruising around on private land in someone's jeep.

Long story short, what we found out afterwards was despite this place looking like a wide open countryside and really not getting a detailed prebrief about what kids could and couldn't do they treat this entire area like one giant museum. Based on what we got from our guide we treated this area like a 20,000 acre playground in the country with some specific sites you need to respect. We let our kids be somewhat free thinking the guide would tell us if he had concerns. They weren't hellions or unsupervised by any means, and frankly we received hardly any feedback about them on the trip. Afterwards we got an email from the owner basically making it sound like our kids destroyed the Mona Lisa and that we were completely negligent parents. When we got the email it completely destroyed my wife and I for several days. Nobody likes to be accused of being bad parents, and it made us feel so completely horrible. Our kids did break the rules so that really made us feel bad too, but from a customer service side the way it was done was completely unacceptable. The owner calmed down on the second email but the damage was done. We apologized and made it right but it really left a serious mark on us as we truly felt misled about the experience. Had we known this is how it's treated, or frankly had the guide even made a point that our kids weren't behaving this never would have happened. It was like he didn't want to make us upset by telling us our kids shouldn't be doing X or Y. Frankly I expect someone to say something if my kids are behaving improperly especially if I don't know what they're doing is wrong. To let it all happen in front of me then accuse us of being bad parents afterwards is completely wrong and frankly it still stings thinking about it.

All in all I just can't recommend this experience. Hopefully this explains why.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank olozbal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NMJeeptours, Owner at New Mexico Jeep Tours, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Thank you for your review as I believe this could help me.

While I'm sorry you did not really enjoy the tour, this tour is not for everyone. In fact after this tour I did make a new page on my web site concerning "rules" like not taking fossils which have been there for thousands of years, which you described as a rock, and not marking up sites near petroglyphs which have been there for hundreds of years and of course allowing children to scratch and damaging their names on the Jeep windows which should be self explanatory. I do know that kids will be kids but not all children or adults are the same.

Therefore this review helps me explain that if you don't care and respect the history, culture and geology by viewing the prehistoric pottery shards, ruins, petroglyphs and of course sea fossils then this tour is not for you. And if you or your children get easily bored and want more of a Disneyland attraction ride tour, then this tour is not for you. We have had many children younger then yours very interested and respectful at the sites. Parents know their children the best and can decide if this tour is for them or not.

I'm sorry this did not work out for you but I believe this review does help me attract only those type customers who want the quiet solitude and quality of our outdoor museum that has not been picked dry of artifacts or marked up by placing one's initials at the sites near petroglyphs. We will protect this land with prehistoric ruins, artifacts and petroglyphs with tenacity to keep it pristine for the generations.

Concerning the waiver, on these type tours these are standard and insurance companies require them.

Thank You
Roch Hart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Not like anything you have ever experienced....REAL ABQ”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

What is above Excellent in a rating? Only this tour.

I booked a 4 hour tour for my husband, son and I and we received a PhD in desert geology, archeology, cultural studies, naturalist and local history from Roc. This is not commercial or touristy. If you want that, go somewhere else. This is a tour for the explorer and learner.

My son is a lover of the ABQ natural area and a long distance hiker. He was not immediately impressed by Mom's undertaking of a private jeep tour when ABQ has some of the most dramatic public lands around. He indulged me and was impressed with the naturalness and primitive nature of the 20K acres that he would not have otherwise been able to see. Roc and my son Will ended up being kindred spirts in their love and respect of the land. Roc obviously picked up on that and customized the experience to the aspects we wanted to see and to the interests he anticipated we would have.

My favorite part was finding artifacts from the 1500s or so. While tempted to remove them, all artifacts remain on the land as they should be. That just adds to the authenticity and realness of the experience.

The price was reasonable, actually a deal for the experience. Having done this tour, I can believe in the validity of each of these reviews because I had a similar experience -- but thankfully-- not a cookie cutter one.

Definately a repeater for when I return. Roc is a genuinely nice guy and sincere in his desire to provide a quality experience. He's living a good life and making a business out of sharing his passion.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank AnnBennis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eagleville, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Jeep Touring near ABQ”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

Our family booked the 4 hr. trip with NM Jeep Tours. We met Tom, our driver and guide, at San Filipe north of ABQ. The day was cloudy so it was a perfect summer day to tour in an open jeep.
While a state dirt road runs thru the 20,000 acre Big Diamond Ranch, NM Jeep Tours are the only ones with access to the ranch grounds. We had a coyote cross our path on the way to the old coal mining town of Hagen. This town flourished around 1920 and was deserted by 1930 although parts of several building still stand today. We also came upon 3 different groups of wild horses that roam the vast ranch including a black week old colt. Tom was a delight to spend time with and we thoroughly enjoyed our adventure.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best way to see the beauty of the land”
Reviewed July 31, 2013

A fantastic and personalized tour: educational, entertaining, and awe inspiring! We did the 6 hour tour and we have 2 teens and even they were riveted. We had a fantastic time and standing in the back of the jeep with the top down only added to the fun. We saw vistas, artifacts, petroglyphs, and ruins that very few people have ever seen and learned history and heard stories that only Roch can share. The wildlife you see with each tour may be different, but we saw many wild horses, a jack rabbit, and a big rattlesnake (up close). The tour was personalized and Roch Hart is an amazing individual who is eager to share the land's secrets and answer all your questions. This tour made our vacation very special and I highly recommend it!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Leslie0329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Discover the Spirit of New Mexico”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The Most Popular Tour was one of the first attractions I booked in advance of my vacation to Albuquerque. Going into my trip, I knew I wanted to experience the open and wild land of New Mexico, free of tour buses and large crowds. The opportunity to visit a private, rural ranch filled with history and ghost towns was too good to pass up. Bottom Line: Roch Hart and his jeep delivered!

While many tourists gather around Old Town and ABQ's museums hoping to learn a thing or two about the Duke City, if you truly want to get off road and experience New Mexico’s history, spend 5 hours with Roch. As many others have stated, this guy is not only passionate about New Mexico, he truly is a wealth of information in regards to the geology and history of the region. While local museums will tell you about the land, Roch actually SHOWS you up close, allowing you to stop and get out whenever something catches your eye. Most importantly, his tours are never scripted; what you experience with Roch is a very personalized adventure. He specifically tailors your tour to fit your interest and adventure level.

Another big plus about this jeep tour is you’re not going to run into a bunch of tourists during your visit. All of the Most Popular Tours take you to Diamond Tail ranch, a massive plot of privately owned land exclusively open to Roch and his jeep tours.

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, there is almost never a bad time to go off road and explore the petroglyphs and old settlements in Roch’s red jeep. If you’re lucky enough, you may also encounter Diamond Tail’s wild horses, something I will remember for the rest of my life.

I hope to book a future tour with Roch again. He truly is invested in your experience and will make your visit to the Land of Enchantment extremely memorable.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Brett W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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